Croatian Beer: Navigating the Dynamic Landscape of Croatia’s Beer Wonders [Expert’s Tour]

Croatia, a stunning country known for its picturesque coastlines and rich history, has been quietly brewing a craft beer revolution that’s worth exploring.

Get ready for a beer-venture as we dive deep into the world of Croatian beer, breweries, and flavors that will make you swoon. Cheers to discovering a new realm of refreshing brews!

Short Summary

  • Explore Croatia’s vibrant craft beer scene and experience unique flavors, styles & breweries!
  • Discover the tantalizing flavors of Croatian craft beers from renowned breweries like Zmajska Pivovara & Varionica – it’s a must-try experience!
  • Pair amazing local brews with delicious dishes for an unforgettable culinary adventure in Croatia!

Discovering Croatia’s Craft Beer Scene

Croatia’s beer market has been flourishing in recent years with more than 90% of the beer sold in the country being domestically produced. This impressive achievement has put Croatia on the map as a significant national beer market.

With over 70 microbreweries opening in Croatia, the craft beer revolution has swept the nation, offering a refreshing and innovative alternative to traditional beers.

The recent rise in the number of independent craft beer producers not only in Croatia but all over the world has been dubbed the “Craft Revolution”. This movement has created unique and refreshing beer experiences that have captured the hearts and taste buds of beer aficionados.

As we delve into Croatia’s thriving craft beer scene, we’ll uncover the history, flavors, and techniques that make Croatian beers truly special.

The Rise of Craft Beer in Croatia

Before the craft beer revolution took Croatia by storm, industrial beers like Karlovacko and Ozujsko dominated the market. However, the establishment of Zmajska Pivovara, Croatia’s first craft beer brewery, in 2013, marked the beginning of a new era.

This exciting trend has had an incredible impact on the local brewing industry, with many breweries offering their own twists on popular beer styles such as pale ale beer, lager beer, and refreshing San Servolo beers.

The rise of craft beer in Croatia has given birth to numerous microbreweries, which continue to push the boundaries of brewing and create unique flavors and styles.

Zagreb Brewery, founded in 1892, produces the famous Ozujsko beer, while San Servolo, the first Istrian beer, offers two types of pale ale beer: APA and IPA, along with various kinds of lager.

With such a diverse range of beers and breweries, it’s no wonder Croatia’s craft beer scene has gained worldwide recognition.

Traditional vs. Modern Brewing Techniques

Traditional Croatian brewing techniques involve using natural and traditional ingredients and different brewing techniques. One of the first microbreweries in Croatia, Medvedgrad, has been around for over 20 years and is known for their traditionally brewed beer.

Craft beer stands out for being made by small and independent producers. They take an experimental approach to the process of brewing beer, creating highly innovative results.

The production approach of craft beer is passionately and creatively making unconventional recipes, with enthusiasm and excitement. This innovative spirit has led to the creation of unique and refreshing beers that stand out in the market.

As we continue to explore the world of Croatian beer, we will see how the combination of traditional and modern brewing techniques has given rise to an impressive array of flavors and styles.

Must-Try Croatian Beers and Breweries

To truly appreciate the depth and variety of Croatian beer, we’ve curated a list of must-try Croatian beers and the breweries that produce them.

From the pioneering Zmajska Pivovara to the innovative Varionica, these breweries are creating exceptional brews that showcase the best of Croatian beer.

So let’s dive in and discover the flavors that await you in the world of Croatian craft beer.

Zmajska Pivovara

Zmajska Pivovara, a Zagreb-based microbrewery, is known for its highly rated craft beers, including:

  • Imperial RIS stout
  • Pale Ale
  • IPA
  • Wheat beer
  • Porter

As the first craft beer brewery in Croatia, Zmajska Pivovara has set the standard for innovation and quality in the industry.

Their permanent crafts include American Pale Ale, Porter, India Pale Ale, American Wheat Ale, and German Pils, each offering a unique and delicious taste experience for beer lovers.

Nova Runda

Nova Runda brewery was established by two friends who turned their passion for home-brewing into an exciting venture. The brewery’s popular beers include American Pale Ale Nova Runda, IPA C4, and several other IPAs and Brown Ales.

Nova Runda C4 IPA, ThroaTTwister IIPA DIPA, and Fireball IPA RED are among the 10 best Croatian beers on Ratebeer, showcasing the exceptional quality and flavors produced by this brewery.


Varionica Craft Brewery, known for its collaborative spirit, produces several popular beers, including APA Varionica and Varionica Neon Stout. Their mainstay beer, Paleo, is a light and well-loved brew that reflects the brewery’s dedication to crafting exceptional beer.

Varionica’s creative approach to brewing has earned them a well-deserved reputation among Croatian beer enthusiasts.


Medvedgrad, Croatia’s oldest microbrewery, has been crafting beer for over 20 years using traditional brewing techniques.

Named after the nearby medieval fortress, the garden brewery offers a range of seasonal beers, including Agram Stout, Belgian White Ale Ljeto u Zagrebu, and black IPA Crni Jack.

With its rich history and commitment to quality, Medvedgrad has become a beloved institution in the Croatian beer scene.

Exploring the Flavors of Croatian Beer

Croatian beer offers an impressive array of flavors and styles, including:

  • Pale ales
  • Dark lagers
  • Wheat beers
  • Pilsners
  • IPAs
  • Stouts
  • Porters

As we continue our journey through the Croatian beer landscape, we’ll explore the distinct characteristics and taste profiles of these various beer types.

So buckle up and get ready for a flavor adventure like no other!

Pale Lager

Pale lager beer, a popular Croatian beer style, is characterized by the following:

  • Very pale to golden color
  • Well-attenuated body
  • Noble hop bitterness
  • Dry, lean, clean-tasting, and crisp
  • Subtle flavors with no dominant traditional beer ingredient

As a refreshing and easy-to-drink option, pale lagers are perfect for those looking to enjoy a light and delicious beer, making them a popular choice for beer consumption.

India Pale Ale

India Pale Ale (IPA) is a beer style characterized by:

  • High levels of alcohol and hops
  • Renowned for its hoppy flavor
  • Brewed with pale ale or 2-row brewers malt as the base
  • American or New World hops
  • American or English yeast with a clean or slightly fruity profile
  • Bold flavors that range from strong bitterness to notes of citrus, pine, and other fruity flavors

Croatia’s IPAs have grown increasingly popular in recent years, with many craft breweries producing their own unique versions of this style.

Brown Ale

Brown ale is a dark-colored, medium-to-low-bodied beer that is typically more malt than hops, giving it an incredibly toasty, chocolatey, caramel-like, or toffeeish flavor.

Rich and malty, brown ales offer a delightful taste experience that pairs well with hearty meals and cooler weather.

As you explore the world of Croatian beer, don’t miss out on the chance to savor the delicious flavors of brown ales.

Dark Lager

Dark lager beer is:

  • Dark in color
  • Brewed with lager yeasts
  • Richer in flavor than a traditional lager
  • Brewed with dark malts
  • Full-bodied and robust in flavor
  • Exciting notes of roasted malt, chocolate, and coffee

Dark lagers are perfect for those who enjoy a more robust and flavorful beer experience, offering depth and complexity that will tantalize your taste buds.

Best Places to Enjoy Croatian Beer

Croatia offers a myriad of fantastic places to enjoy its vibrant beer culture, from cozy bars and pubs to lively beer festivals.

Whether you’re exploring the bustling city of Zagreb or the breathtaking coastline, there’s always a perfect spot to sip on a refreshing Croatia beer.

So let’s take a look at some of the top destinations for beer enthusiasts in this beautiful country.

Top Bars and Pubs in Zagreb

Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city, is home to some of the best craft beer bars and pubs in the country. Two standout establishments that should not be missed are Craft Room and Tolkien’s House.

Craft Room offers over 13 amazing beers on tap and a choice of over 100 Croatian and international craft beers, while Tolkien’s House is a charming bar with a cozy atmosphere and a fantastic selection of beers.

These popular spots provide the perfect setting for enjoying the best craft beer that Zagreb has to offer.

Notable Beer Festivals in Croatia

For those looking to immerse themselves in the lively atmosphere of a beer festival, Croatia has plenty to offer. Some of the most popular beer festivals include:

  • Zagreb Beer Fest
  • Opatovina Beer Fest
  • Beerfest Sjever
  • Medulin Craft Beer Festival
  • Zadar Craft Beer Festival

These exciting events showcase a wide variety of local and international brews, offering beer enthusiasts the opportunity to:

  • Explore new flavors and styles
  • Enjoy live music
  • Indulge in delicious food
  • Socialize with great company.

Coastal Craft Beer Hotspots

Croatia’s stunning coastline is dotted with fantastic craft beer hotspots, providing the perfect setting for enjoying a cold brew with a view. In cities such as:

  • Dubrovnik
  • Split
  • Rovinj
  • Zadar
  • Sibenik

You’ll find a wealth of bars and pubs offering a diverse selection of local and international brews.

So, whether you’re soaking up the sun on a picturesque beach or exploring the charming streets of a coastal town, be sure to stop by one of these coastal craft beer hotspots and indulge in a refreshing Croatian beer.

  • Pivnica Medvedgrad in Zagreb
  • Varionica in Split
  • LAB Split Craft Brewery in Split
  • Zmajska Pivovara in Zagreb
  • Nova Runda in Zagreb

Shopping for Croatian Beer: Where to Buy and Prices

If you’re looking to take some Croatian craft beer home with you or simply want to stock up on your favorites, there are plenty of options available.

From supermarkets and specialty stores to online beer shops, we’ve got you covered with a guide on where to buy Croatian beers and what to expect in terms of pricing.

You can find a wide variety of Croatian beers in supermarkets, specialty stores, and online beer stores.

Supermarkets and Specialty Stores

Croatian beers can be found in:

  • Big supermarkets like Konzum, Spar, or Kaufland
  • Specialized beer shops
  • Spicy Days in Ilica Street in Zagreb, which offers an amazing selection of Croatian and international beers.

If you’re in Split, don’t miss out on visiting the beer store Mali Ducan. These stores stock a wide variety of beers, ensuring that you can find the perfect brew to suit your taste.

Online Beer Shops

For those who prefer shopping from the comfort of their own home, there are several online beer shops that sell Croatian beer.

Drizly and Onlygoodbeer are two online stores that offer a great selection of Croatian brews, making it easy for you to enjoy your favorite beers without stepping foot outside.

No matter where you are, you can now enjoy the unique flavors of Croatian beer without having to drink it.

Price Range for Croatian Craft Beers

The typical price range for Croatian craft beer varies depending on where you purchase them. In grocery stores or through webshops, craft beer costs between 12 and 18 Kn for a 0.33 l bottle. In bars, prices range from 21 Kn to 40 Kn for a 0.33 l bottled Croatian craft beer.

With a wide range of prices and options available, there’s a Croatian beer to suit every budget and taste preference.

Pairing Croatian Beer with Food

Pairing Croatian beer with delicious local dishes is an art that can enhance your overall culinary experience. The right combination of beer and food can elevate the flavors of both, creating a symphony of taste sensations in your mouth.

So let’s explore some mouthwatering pairings that will take your Croatian beer experience to a whole new level.

Traditional Croatian dishes such as brudet, mixed grill, and peka are oh-so-delicious when paired with the right beer. For a more adventurous pairing, try experimenting with different types of beer and food combinations.

Salads, seafood, and even desserts can be deliciously paired with the wide variety of Croatian beers available. With so many flavors to explore, the possibilities for pairing Croatian beer with food are virtually endless.


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the fascinating world of Croatian beer, from the thriving craft beer scene to the diverse flavors and styles that make these brews truly special.

Whether you’re visiting Croatia’s stunning coastline or exploring its bustling cities, there’s always a perfect spot to enjoy a refreshing Croatian beer.

So raise your glass and toast to the exciting world of Croatian beer – ivjeli!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most popular beer in Croatia?

Oujsko is the most popular beer in Croatia, known for its light beer, which has been around since 1892. Enjoying its full golden colour, fine bitter aromas and compact foam, it’s no wonder that Oujsko is at the top of many people’s lists!

It has been a staple of Croatian culture for over a century, and its popularity continues to grow. Oujsko is a great choice for any occasion, whether it’s a casual gathering or a special celebration.

Does Croatia have good beer?

Taste and variety in Croatia’s beer scene make it a great destination for craft beer lovers! Their Bonner Bohemian Pilsner is unfiltered and highly rated, and they offer up to nine different beers.

Including the flavoursome American Blonde Ale and their delicious wheat beer – so yes, Croatia definitely has good beer!

Where can I find Croatian craft beers in stores?

Head to your nearest Konzum, Spar, or Kaufland supermarket for Croatian craft beer, or visit a specialized beer shop!

Croatian craft beers are gaining in popularity, and you can find them in many supermarkets and specialized beer shops. Konzum, Spar, and Kaufland are some of the most popular supermarkets in Croatia.

What are some popular Croatian beer festivals?

Experience the best of Croatian beer with festivals like the Zagreb Beer Fest, Opatovina Beer Fest, Beerfest Sjever, Medulin Craft Beer Festival, and Zadar Craft Beer Festival!

What is the legal drinking age in Croatia?

In Croatia, you must be 18 years old to legally purchase and consume alcohol.

Enjoy responsibly!

Similar Posts